Durham County Library, where I have my "day job," hosted a romance fan festival last November called Fall Into Romance. As part of her presentation on heroes, Virginia Kantra mentioned that she always has a moment in her books where the hero feeds the heroine. This is a moment or sign of commitment to her, different from any vows, professions of love, or sex. As I've been working on line edits for A Promise for the Baby (Karl's book, which comes out in January 2014) I was again struck by Virginia's words.
When we first meet Karl in his own book, he is cold and unemotional. When Vivian first sees him, she thinks, "She needed a warm heart to beat under his winter clothes." He barely reacts to her news and Vivian and the readers are both left to wonder if he cares at all.
And then he feds her and your entire perception of Karl and his silence changes.
A small gesture turns out not to be small at all. Without being completely aware I was doing it, I'd written similar food scenes in each of my two other books. In Reservations for Two, the moment Dan realizes just what he's done wrong coincides with him preparing her dinner. In The First Move, Miles has no illusions about his feelings for Renia; he offers her food in almost every scene.
Of course, Virginia and I aren't the only authors that do this. In Lisa Klepas's Smooth Talking Stranger, the reader knows that Jake is in love with Ella the instant he orders her dinner (even though the entire book is told through her point of view and she doesn't yet realize his feelings). Cara McKenna's After Hours has a great scene where Kelly buys Erin a burger. In all of these scenes, there a sense that offering someone food is a way to say, "I care about you." The offer is intimate and personal, without being invasive.
What about you? What are some of your favorite romance novel moments where the hero offering the heroine food changes everything about their relationship?
Leave a comment. I'll use a random number generator to pull a winner from the comments. The winner will receive a copy of A Promise for the Baby as soon as I get my author copies (about one month before the book is out). Comment by August 7th and I'll post the winner on August 10th (Really this time! No writing the post and hitting "save draft" instead of "publish").